Around 11 p.m. Friday night, a motorist in New Smyrna Beach was headed south on U.S. 1, also known as South Dixie Freeway.
There was a problem: She was in the northbound lanes.
Traffic chaos ensued, according to the Daytona Beach News Journal. Alarmed, fellow drivers were forced to pull over into parking lots and driveways to avoid a collision, according to a Volusia County Sheriff’s Office report.
Fate stepped in when a New Smyrna Beach fire engine was heading to a call around around the same time. Officers aboard the truck saw Sandra Chiappone turn south onto northbound lane of South Dixie Freeway, and pulled alongside with lights and sirens blaring trying to get her to stop.
Never miss a local story.
But Chiappone kept on going.
The report adds that the fire crew alerted dispatchers.
A Volusia County sheriff’s deputy happened upon the dire situation and activated his siren, trying to get Chiappone to pull over, to no avail.
The law enforcement officer then resorted to zig-zagging back and forth between the left and the right lanes, but Chiappone was reportedly oblivious.
When he called for backup, New Smyrna Beach police authorized the use of stop sticks, which the deputy deployed as the motorist was driving at around 20 mph. When three of her tires flattened, the car came to a halt.
The 67-year-old New Smyrna Beach resident had driven approximately two miles in the wrong direction, said the report. She smelled of alcohol and seemed confused, the report said.
Chiappone was charged with driving under the influence and was released on her own recognizance by a judge on $1,000 bond, court records show.
Her blood alcohol content was 0.141 and 0.150, said the report — almost twice the legal limit.